Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A New Course in Agricultural Land Tenure

Professor Hamilton returns to teach Agricultural Land Tenure

This week the LL.M. Program was joined by Professor Neil Hamilton who directs the Agricultural Law Center at Drake Law School and serves as the Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law. Professor Hamilton was on hand to teach an intensive 3 day class in a newly created course in Agricultural Land Tenure.

This new course focuses on the role landownership and land use plays in the American agriculture. The course examined the history of federal land policy in the U.S. such as the Homestead Act and other land grants in forming our land ownership structure and the current reality of land tenure in the U.S., looking at who owns farmland and in what legal structures. Other topics covered included: the financing of farmland acquisition through mortgages and installment land contracts; farm leasing methods and issues of sustainability; family farm succession planning and the potential for intra-family conflicts over land transfers; the role of land ethics in farmland conservation; the role of land tenure in the operation of USDA programs; and issues relating to land access for new farmers. The history of how our land tenure system was created was examined including issues of how original occupants of the land were dispossessed and the resulting problems. This excellent course promises to be counted amongst our most popular classes. Our thanks to Professor Hamilton.

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